Smokey Air

Old May 8th 2008, 11:21 am
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Default Smokey Air

I have noticed that more fires are on at night now. I have been out for a walk in the evening with a couple of the kids and have wondered if it is safe to be out. The smoke is so very thick in the streets and leaves a lasting taste in my mouth for some time once home. My son biked home from soccer on Wednesday night and he stunk of smoke when he came to sit next to me at the table, like he had been camping. Should we stay in doors on smokey evenings? What are the health effects of exposure to this sort of air?
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Old May 8th 2008, 11:26 am
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Default Re: Smokey Air

mmmm not pleasent, but on the positive side surely it can't be any worse for your health than living next to a main road.

When its windy you won't notice it because it will all just "gust' away........

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Old May 8th 2008, 12:44 pm
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Default Re: Smokey Air

I think it's more an issue with where you are, Christchurch has always had problems with smog , due to the lie of the land it doesn't blow away:

http://www.ecan.govt.nz/Our+Environm...smog-video.htm
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Old May 8th 2008, 1:29 pm
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Default Re: Smokey Air

Originally Posted by CAN2NZ View Post
What are the health effects of exposure to this sort of air?
As having lived in NZ for a long time, despite loving CHCH, it's one of the reason I'd never move there to live. the air polution in winter is nothing better than Seoul/Tokyo. When I was young, I didn't like living in Welly (for some reason) and asked Mum many times, why can't we move to CHCH? then her principal answer was the Smokey air and it could threaten health. we don't want any more grey/smokey/polluted air/sky as we've had enough "dirt" whilst lived in Asian countries. Now I realize that (no doubt) Mum made a wise decision. My brother has got Asthma. Actually his Asthma got a lot worse ever since we moved to Welly (because it's Cold & damp). He suffered a lot.... then he moved to Auckland 4 years ago, and he says it's much better than before --maybe it's due to different weather conditions & other environmental factors etc. I do think if we lived in CHCH for a long periord then I am 200% sure he's dead

I can't answer your question but my suggestion.......... move to Welly (Better in the long run)

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Old May 8th 2008, 10:32 pm
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Default Re: Smokey Air

I can honestly say hand on heart that I have not smelt any smoke or indeed seen any smog in my area of christchurch. Maybe it is because it is a new subdivision and they are not allowed log burners anymore. I think if you want an open fire you have to have a pellet fire now. I have been here all last winter and I was actually amazed at how lovely the winter was, no problems for me personally, sunny skies and crisp days but then I am on the outskirts and if you live nearer to town I expect there are a lot of contributing factors and lots of older homes would probably still have log burners. We didn't have much rain either by North Island standards, seems drier down here which is good for me old bones!!! It seems to rain during the night and then maybe in the mornings and then clear up. Back in the UK days would foggy and smoggy and last for weeks during winter and we don't seem to get that here. As for walking out in the evening and smelling the smoke, I can't comment as I don't usually go out far from the fire at night in winter!!! I think last winter we had about 1 continuous week of dull skies but the rest were sunny with the odd day here or there of dullness. Mind you, when it rains it rains, but then like magic - it is soon gone!!
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Old May 8th 2008, 11:20 pm
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Default Re: Smokey Air

Originally Posted by shirl View Post
I can honestly say hand on heart that I have not smelt any smoke or indeed seen any smog in my area of christchurch. !!
the last time I was in CHCH was ....let me see.....OMG....it was 1996 drove down there with my parents for the violin audition at Canterbury uni .............. frankly I am not sure how bad Smokey air is in CHCH nowadays but sure it was worse something 15 years ago. I don't know. but that's what I've heard

whatever...................... there's a risk, yeah?
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Old May 9th 2008, 11:03 am
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Default Re: Smokey Air

We live in Rangiora, for the last two months. We did live in chch before and last winter I was amazed at the smoke in the street at night. We live in the NW part of Rangiora which is new. I just notice that when walking at night in town that there is so much smoke to be breathed. It can't be healthy, so I think on smokey nights we will stay in doors.

I think it was Tuesday morning, I drove to work, as I got to view of Christchurch I couldn't believe the cloud of brown smoke over the city. It does clear during the day. I was surprised to see such a heavy cloud. I hadn't seen a polution cloud that heavy before.

On a somewhat related note, why does the government not focus more effort on cleaning up the cities but fixing giving credits to help fix up houses? In the long run, insulated, warmer houses heated with alternate fuel could really help reduce greenhouse gases. There may even be healthcare spin offs with cleaner air. I think that it is because the country is so short of electricity that without making a committment to an "alternate" energy source (read between the lines) that it is not feasible to have people do anything else but burn wood. If they didn't there would not be enough electricity to go around.
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Old May 9th 2008, 11:25 am
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Default Re: Smokey Air

When we lived in Kaiapoi the air in winter was awful.
Saying that we had a wood burner so I am sure contributed quite a bit of pollution ourselves. When we moved into our house (brand new, double glazed) it had a gas fire as the sole source of heat. Now bearing in mind when we left gas bottles were up to about $70, in the summer 1 would last about 40+ days, when winter hit and the fire went on we would get about 10 days to a bottle. I could have put up with that if it had heated the whole house but it only just heated up the living room, the rest of the house was freezing. So out came the gas fire and in went a log burner with a ceiling fan. We could easily get through $700 of wood in a year so it wasn't cheap but it did heat the whole house.
The problem with kiwi houses is they are not designed to have 1 heat source, unless it kicks out big KW's of heat like a woodburner, most of them are single storey and sprawling with poor insulation. Gentle heat from gas fires etc just goes through the ceilings, walls and windows, leaving the rest of the house like a fridge. The thing is kiwis seem to like it this way, they almost pride themselves on how well they kit up for the winter. You only have to look at the warehouse to see all the leccy blankets, fleecy jim jams, slippers etc ask any kiwi, in winter they will be in bed by 9pm, then up by 6am wiping down the windows eagerly awaiting the morning sun to heat the house up.
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Old May 12th 2008, 11:25 am
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Default Re: Smokey Air

I was pursuing this line of enquiry at work. I have just now compared the PM10 figures to those of an industrial city I was quite familiar with back at home. I found that the industrial city has a lower level of air polution than here in Rangiora and Christchurch. I was surprised. However, I was also concerned to read about what is being measured and have determined that no one should go outside on a smoke filled evening. The particulates suspended in air are inhaled and lead to respritory desease. I wonder if the cases of asthma here are caused by the poor interior and exterior air. I will be staying in at night now in winter if the fires are on out there and will keep the kids in for sure.
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Old May 12th 2008, 10:37 pm
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Default Re: Smokey Air

It's a lovely smell though - makes me think of bonfire night and baked potatoes and toffee..
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Old May 15th 2008, 12:38 pm
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Wink Re: Smokey Air

Originally Posted by Watt Dabney View Post
You only have to look at the warehouse to see all the leccy blankets, fleecy jim jams, slippers etc ask any kiwi, in winter they will be in bed by 9pm, then up by 6am wiping down the windows eagerly awaiting the morning sun to heat the house up.
Truly conjures up an image of life in paradise
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Old May 19th 2008, 1:25 am
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Default Re: Smokey Air

Originally Posted by luvwelly View Post
Truly conjures up an image of life in paradise
I dunno. I am starting to think being in bed by 9:00pm is near enough to Paradise....
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Old May 22nd 2008, 4:21 am
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Default Re: Smokey Air - advice from ARC

Along with the "Check Your Chimney" flyer in the local papers, ARC provide some advice on the web about choosing/using woodburners that may assist:

http://www.arc.govt.nz/albany/fms/ma...airfacts10.pdf
http://www.arc.govt.nz/albany/fms/ma.../airfacts9.pdf

I might print it off and stuff it down "smokey Joe"'s chimney at the bottom of our garden as his emissions never look like the picture, even when the woodburner has warmed up!!!
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Old May 23rd 2008, 12:26 am
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Default Re: Smokey Air

Back in the UK days would foggy and smoggy and last for weeks during winter (quoted by shirl )

just noticed this post !! where did you live in the UK to have smog ? havent seen that for years, did have it in london when i was about 14 (now 53) then it was decided to stop burning c**p on fires and central heating took over . i have said on other posts i realised that moving to NZ is like going back in time 40 years and thought that meant growing your own veg n being able to leave your doors open , but never thought it would mean still having all the bad things that were around then ! is NZ still trying to aradicate rickets n sending kids up chimneys ??

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Old May 23rd 2008, 1:40 am
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Default Re: Smokey Air

You are of a most excellent age Coltheplumb.

The last heavy fog/smog I remember in Bournemouth was when I was in my early teens I think. Maybe around 1966 /'67. I don't remember one lasting for weeks though. My parents ,who lived in London when they were courting in the early 1950's do remember the peasoupers though. That was 50 yrs ago !
Smokeless fuel came in, immersion hot water heaters were fitted instead of using the back boilers and then gas central heating arrived.

I find the quality of the air here in Winter to be a bit of a problem TBH. The first winter I had terrible bronchitis which I hadn't had since a teenager. It's one of the reasons we moved away from Nelson and out to the village. Having said that, we have a wood burner ourselves. It is the only heating in the house. We only used seasoned dry wood and himself builds up the heat in the firebox for a clean burn. We never leave the woodburner banked to smoulder overnight. I see plenty of smoky flues out over the village.

There are new restrictions here in NZ with regard to open fires and woodburners. Heatpumps are becoming popular. As time goes on, the winter air quality should improve... I hope.
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